Saturday, October 20, 2012
This was Freedom from Bullying Week. It seems that every cause has a day to bring it views to attention. I believe that bullying is one of the worst problems that we face today. But it isn't a new problem. When I was a kid (that would be in the olden days) vulnerable kids were bullied, and I on occasion was a victim of the meanness of others.
Mona O’Moore of the Anti-Bullying Centre at Trinity College in Dublin, has written, "There is a growing body of research which indicates that individuals, whether child or adult, who are persistently subjected to abusive behavior are at risk of stress related illness which can sometimes lead to suicide". Those who have been the targets of bullying can suffer from long term emotional and behavioral problems. Bullying can cause loneliness, depression, anxiety, lead to low self-esteem and increased susceptibility to illness. In the long term it can lead to post traumatic stress disorder and an inability to form relationships. We hear of cases of bullying all the time even videos on YouTube showing the abusive behavior.
Contrary to the expectations of most citizens, while it may be both immoral and unprofessional, it is not illegal in the United States for managers to threaten, insult, humiliate, ignore or mock employees; give employees “the evil eye”; gossip and spread rumors; withhold information that employees need to complete their work; or take credit for someone else’s work. Unfortunately, these types of behaviors are not rare occurrences, but occur all too often in many American workplaces.
I hope for a better us--people who will show empathy for those who are weak, compassion for the less fortunate, and courage to stand up to the aggressive behavior of the bully.